We initially wrote to Jason to inform him of Nikita’s imminent release and that she wanted to reintroduce contact with Hannah. Jason was apprehensive about this and requested highly confidential reports on Nikita’s mental wellbeing. After trying to advocate on Nikita’s behalf for an agreement, it was clear that an application to the Court was necessary. During the proceedings, the local authority produced a report noting that Nikita was focused on her daughter’s needs but did not recommend any contact between her and Hannah. We notified the local authority of evidence that they had not considered and supported Nikita’s argument that contact would be beneficial both to her and Hannah. To begin with, Nikita asked for letterbox contact and updates from Jason, as there had been no contact for four years, and she did not want to overwhelm Hannah. She would like to progress contact to video calls and eventually direct contact, which we will help her with.
We have attended four hearings with Nikita. We expected the Final Hearing in November 2021 to be an uphill battle because of the local authority report. Despite this, we made a legal argument regarding the flaws in the Report, resulting in a further hearing. The Court also ordered that a Guardian would be instructed to represent Hannah’s voice and true thoughts during legal proceedings. Further, Jason is to send Nikita periodical updates about Hannah’s welfare and schooling, including photographs.